June 26 (UPI) — Fans won’t be allowed to attend San Francisco Giants games this season at Oracle Park, but the team will display photo cutouts of season-ticket holders in the stands.
The Giants told ESPN and NBC Sports Bay Area that they will have a fan cutout program and allow the season ticket holders to submit images of themselves. The team also will allow non-season-ticket holders to send photos that will be placed in the stands — for a $ 99 fee.
San Francisco’s strategy to fill the stands with cutouts of fans follows the trend made popular in South Korea’s Korean Baseball Organization and Chinese Professional Baseball League. Those leagues have played since April and May, respectively, amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 MLB season remains suspended but is scheduled to resume July 23 or July 24.
The Giants ranked 11th in home attendance last season. They ranked in the Top 4 for home attendance for eight consecutive seasons before their 2019 campaign.
MLB announced this week that it will play a 60-game regular season through September. Teams can allow fans to attend games after they get approval from MLB and local authorities.
“The San Francisco Giants are excited to get the 2020 season underway and welcome our players and coaches back to Oracle Park and the San Francisco Bay Area,” the Giants said in a statement.
“All preseason workouts and home games during the 2020 regular season will take place at Oracle Park under the rules and guidelines outlined by the health and safety protocols that were agreed upon by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA last night.”
The Giants posted a 77-85 record and finished in third place in the National League West in 2019.